Some friends will be staying in Monti for a week in July and want to stay close to home for meals. When they asked me for advice I urged them to travel a bit, complaining that the food in the neighborhood could be better. But as I jotted down a list of places for them to eat, I realized Monti has its share of quality dining and drinking spots. Here are some places I love:
La Barrique (Via Del Boschetto 5): Monti’s best wine bar has everything a Roman wine bar should: good food, great wine, and idiosyncratic service. Closed Sunday.
Cavour 313 (Via Cavour 313): This wine bar may tie with Cul de Sac for Rome’s least comfortable seating, but the atmosphere is great and the carpaccios are a summer favorite. There are hundreds of wine labels to choose from. Closed Sunday lunch.
Al Vino Al Vino (Via dei Serpenti 19): You can’t beat the nibbles (owner Giacomo’s mom makes the best caponata north of the Straight of Messina and the cheeses come from Micocci on via Collina) and there is a decent wines by the glass list. Closed Sunday lunch.
L’Asino D’Oro (Via del Boschetto 73): Chef Lucio Sforza serves Umbrian soul food in his newish location. The €12 lunch menu served Tuesday to Friday is a steal. Closed Sunday dinner and Monday.
La Carbonara (Via Panisperna 214): Tourists don’t always get amazing treatment here, but the food is dependably good and undeniably cheap. Closed Sunday.
Doozo (Via Palermo 55): Thoughtfully prepared Japanese fare (not just sushi!) is served in this bookshop/art gallery or its lovely garden in the rear. Closed Sunday lunch and Monday.
Food & Beverage Shops
Tricolore (Via Urbana 126): I am ideologically opposed to the price of their gourmet sandwiches but the bread is some of the best in town, thanks to baker Franco Palermo. The rye bread with dried apples might be my favorite food. Tricolore also offers cooking classes (in English upon request). Closed Sunday.
Panificio Monti (Via Urbana 22): This place might get snubbed by gastrofighetti (the local foodie mafia) because it is not as trendy as Tricolore across the street, but this long established bakery produces artisanal bread on premises and does tasty pizza by the slice, and dreamy ciambellone (bunt cake). Closed Sunday.
Domus Birrae (Via Cavour 88): My favorite beer shop sells a wide range of Italian craft beers, and a growing number of imports, too. Closed Sunday.